Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A call to action for Brantford

Subject: A call to action for Brantford

BRANTFORD ECONOMIC INITIATIVE ;the-brantford-economic-initiative@googlegroups.com

A community call to action for Brantford, Brant and Six Nations
"We have to do more then water the flowers –we need to plant a vibrant
garden with the help of many good people"

As the many good people who did not win the race for official
government office take down their election signs, action plans and
better vision platforms, please remember that your community needs you
in many capacities. You have spent months getting real face to face
input and grassroots feedback from the people of your community. You
are now an real expert on what the people want, what the people do not
want and you have their pulse and the many ideas of what they think
should be done to better their community..

There are many issues that must be addressed to grow our community
successfully with your help. Individually or together we can make a
difference. I am sharing some current challenges gleaned from my
"boots walking" people survey . Here are some of the things that I
heard and learned from the people .

"Energy costs are rising to hurtful levels " … "Many costs of living
are rising  here"

This is a issue that is going to get hot in the cold of winter -
particularly for those who use electrical heat and the costs escalate
to unaffordable "shut off "levels. What are we going to do to help
these people-that is the question?  Some issues that are of interest
•       An upload to the the provincial and federal govt- can the home
energy sector be made exempt from the HST  ? What actions or
considerations will make this possible?  There are citizen groups
starting to promote this " Influencing actions at the federal and
provincial level on utility bills like hydro, water and other
municipal intergovernmental issues"
•       Predatory pricing practices of local utilities -such as connect and
disconnect charges - excessive interest and service charges hidden and
new profit centres to subsidize cost centres? - What to do to
remediate this or remedies on an exception basis?
•       Consolidation of local utilities - there is one energy supplier -why
do we need multiple energy distributors - what happened to the
consolidation strategy - to reduce the number of overheads of the many
local energy distributors?

Why are the bad investment decisions of the past absorbed or
subsidized by the utility user?   This is a monopoly pricing situation
over which they -the user have no control. Should these bad decisions
not come out of the general account?

A further sampling of my boots survey    Voter comments

"Taxes and fees are out of control and we are not getting much for the
increased costs"." How are we going to pay for it?" "How are we going
to get high paying jobs here? "I just lost my job after many years and
now work for a temp agency-I have no choice and hate it." "There is a
drug house in the neighbourhood, I am afraid and the police can do
nothing about it. "  " I moved from Toronto and commute every day –my
taxes are higher here-can you improve transportation to make it easier
to get to my work- a Go Station would be nice " " I live here, but the
large company that I run is in Cambridge –would have built it here –
but the City administration reneged on a major promise " "What do
those people who work for the city really do for the big money we pay
them –I work harder for less money ?" " This development plan for  80
heactres is owned by the city and could support 500 houses -we have
been working at it for 5 years – this part of the public consultation
has cost $200,000  , and it is going on for longer to make sure we
have proper input-what is your opinion?" "Why does everything take so
long to get approvals to do my projects- it is easier and faster in
other cities?" Why can we not get along with our neighbours and work
with them better –losing 350 jobs because of disputes is childish and
stupid "   " Why is city garbage piled up next to my house –it stinks –
the city owns the rental complex –I have complained but nobody helps
me or cares" . "Why does it take a city truck , with  a crew take  two
days to paint a park bench" "Why do we have so many empty city owned
buildings  seems like a waste to me – should we sell them to someone
who cares" 'Great plan but I have heard this before  can you deliver
on the promise –action is really better then words –show me how I can
help get it done " "You are the first person who asked me –thank you
for asking  "

The need for change

These questions and public comments from the people indicate that we
must change how we do things in this city and area- in the future
-.for the better . It is a call to action to do things that deliver
positive outcomes. It is a challenge to the new council to deliver
results , it is a challenge to business to grow jobs , it is a
challenge to all existing and new volunteer groups to add real value ,
it is a challenge to all individuals and groups to care how things are
done  in this community .  It is our city, our community and we get
what we put in.

I thank the people of Brantford for the opportunity to listen to your
very real concerns. It is a call to action that I accept as a
community volunteer and business person . I wish the new council every
success and sincerely hope all other candidates -not chosen for
council- will continue to support this community with their energy,
plans and ideas. Together we can make this an even better place to
live and prosper.

Thank you, people its been an exhilarating march  and new self
motivating leadership ride

Sieg  Holle BS MBA

Moving forward with new energy and ideas –
please join me
Brantford Economic Initiative   BEi

In progress - Brant Positve Action Group  If they can not do it –we can as citizens – all ideas and community action plans welcome
Join the Brant tea party -can we duplicate the success of the USA tea party group

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